UC Berkeley announces campus reopening, updated mask, vaccine policy

Photo of Carol Christ
UC Berkeley Campus Communications/Courtesy
Face coverings are optional both indoors and outdoors for fully vaccinated individuals on the UC Berkeley campus.

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UC Berkeley officially welcomed students, staff and faculty back onto campus Monday following a previous campus Division of Student Affairs press release sent Friday outlining updates to the mask and vaccination policy.

As of July 12, face coverings are optional both indoors and outdoors for all fully-vaccinated individuals, according to the press release. Fully-vaccinated students may receive in-person services without restrictions.

For those who are unvaccinated without any exemptions, the press release notes that those individuals are not permitted to enroll and will be “directed” not to attend class or participate in activities.

With regard to individuals who are approved for medical or religious exemptions, they are still required to wear face coverings while inside any campus building, aside from personal residences, and are required to be tested for COVID-19 once a week, according to the press release. Students with exemptions will still be allowed to receive in-person services, many of which resumed or expanded beginning Monday.

“We are optimistic about our return to primarily in-person instruction this fall, even as we remain prepared to pivot to meet public health needs,” the press release reads. “We are thrilled to be welcoming you back to campus soon with a wholehearted, Go Bears!”

In another press release issued Monday, campus Chancellor Carol Christ and Catherine Koshland, interim executive vice chancellor and provost, acknowledged the campus community and reflected back on the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to announcing a number of celebratory campus events meant to recognize staff and faculty, they also included a link to a short video honoring and praising their efforts.

“We believe that by virtue of our resilience, innovation, and dedication this university will emerge stronger, better and more relevant than ever,” the press release reads. “At the same time, we realize that if the difficulties we faced collectively and individually were unprecedented, so too, will our transition to a new normal be replete with unexpected developments.”

Samantha Lim is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @sssamanthalim.